Category Archives: Reports

Child Poverty Task Force delivers final report

At its meeting on Oct 2, 2012, the Community Ministry Development Committee received the final report of the Child Poverty Task Force. The report includes a summary, copied below, as well as a recommendation to form a permanent Working Group. It also includes discussion of activities the Task Force engaged in, membership and resource persons, and a suggested mandate for the new Working Group.

Click here for the report and recommendations.

Child Poverty Task Force Final report to the Community Ministry Development Committee of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa October 2, 2012
Summary

We were given a mandate by the Community Ministry Development Committee to:

  • begin the work called for in Bishop John’s charge, laying groundwork for sustained action in response to child poverty; and
  • seek out the best possible Diocesan response to the Bishop’s charge and report back to CMDC with recommendations.

The Task Force has determined that the development of a single centralized ministry in response to child poverty is not an option that is available to the Diocese at this time. Neither has anything come to our attention from within parish or diocesan ministries that would follow in the footsteps of Cornerstone/Le Pilier, Anglican Social Services’ Centre 454, The Well/La Source or the Ottawa Pastoral Centre. Rather, we believe that the best opportunity for effective action at the present moment lies in the development of many contextual responses at the local level. To this end, we have developed a toolkit for parishes and ministries to use so that they can be encouraged to develop their own responses.

Advertisements

Child Poverty Report

Recommended first step
Let us teach Gatineau children to make their own nutritious lunches
(September 2011)

Above: Following a summer of research, the Diocese’s Community Development Assistant Matthew Brown makes two key recommendations to the Bishop’s Child Poverty Initiative in a new report called Labour for Learning. 

There is no magic bullet to deal with child poverty. Childcare is an important piece of infrastructure in a developed society where 70% of mothers or more are working. But there are many other ways to enrich the opportunities for children to develop and learn, and other ways to support parents in the important work they do as parents. Matthew’s report suggests two ways the Diocese can start providing that support right now.

In response to the report, the Diocese plans to launch the Initiative’s first pilot project, The Daily Bread Project, at the beginning of October 2011. This is to be the first of a series of community-specific responses to child poverty led by our Diocese.

Labour for Learning report (14.4 MB) (pdf)
Executive summary (pdf)

Update from the Community Development Assistant

Hi, my name is Matthew Brown, and I was  hired just over a month ago by the Diocese to serve for the summer as the Community Development Assistant for the Bishop’s Child Poverty Initiative. It’s  my job over the next few months to do research and strategic planning in  preparation for a formal launch of the Bishop’s new initiative this fall. When  I’m not wearing my “CDA” hat, I’m a master’s candidate at Queen’s University in  Kingston. I’m also a churchwarden in the Parish of Eastern Outaouais on the  West Quebec side of our Diocese.

Child poverty is one of those things that  often goes un-noticed in our community. But, while it may not always be easy to see the signs of poverty among our kids, unfortunately in the era of the “Great Recession” child poverty has quickly become a pressing social problem. Far too many children in our region go to school hungry, don’t have proper clothing, or don’t have access to the school supplies and toys that are supposed to make being a kid fun. Some kids may have young parents, single parents, be in foster care, be living in an isolated rural community, or simply be part of a family where their caregiver – despite their very best efforts – just can’t find a job.  Whatever the situation may be, in the end it’s the children who suffer, as they are the ones who are ultimately robbed of a time in their lives that should be filled with joy, curiosity & wonder – not the hardships of poverty.

There are also larger social costs to think about. High dropout rates among poor kids lead to a subsequently higher unemployment rate in our increasingly knowledge based economy. Malnutrition, brought on by readily available junk food and high sodium products, which are sadly far cheaper for many low-income families to buy in comparison to good fruits and veggies, contributes dramatically to the ongoing childhood obesity pandemic. Broken families, strains to social services and limited recreation space for young people often lead to increased rates of teenage pregnancy…children having children…and all the consequences that ensue.

Whether we like it or not, poverty is a vicious cycle that often begins at childhood, and it’s in our collective interest as a society to do something about it.

Moreover, as followers of Christ, we are continually called to heed the example of He who instructed his disciples to Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:4, KJV)

To that end, the biggest part of my job this summer will be determining how our Diocese should collectively respond to poverty among children in our midst. The most important question I’ll be continually asking myself is “How are we, the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, given our faith, history, geography and gifts, best able to do our part to help alleviate child poverty in our egion?”  If you have an answer, thought or idea, complete or incomplete, I want to hear from you! You can call me or email me using the information below, or follow the regular updates on Facebook & Twitter. Over the next two months I’ll be visiting our parishes, consulting with clergy and lay-leaders, talking to outside groups like school-boards, and working closely with the Community Ministry Development Committee’s Child Poverty Task Force as we all try to collectively discern what God is calling us to do in this area of our mission.

Our work won’t eliminate child-poverty, but I’m confident that by the end of this journey we will have made a significant difference in the lives of many children who deserve nothing less than to be the beneficiaries of Christian love. In the end, that’s what matters most.

~Matthew

Matthew Brown
Community Development Assistant
Bishop’s Child Poverty Initiative
Anglican Diocese of Ottawa
71 Bronson Ave.,
Ottawa, ON K1R 6G6
Telephone: 613-232-9791
Email: matthew-brown@ottawa.anglican.ca
child-poverty@ottawa.anglican.ca
Skype: matthewjbrown1985
Like the Initiative on Facebook: www.facebook.com/adoPoverty
Follow the Initiative on Twitter: @adoPoverty

The Bishop’s Charge

THE BISHOP’S CHARGE
128TH SESSION OF THE SYNOD OF
THE DIOCESE OF OTTAWA

Anglican Church of Canada
October 22 – 24, 2009 AD

“Let Justice Roll down Like Waters, and Righteousness Like an Ever-flowing Stream”
(Amos 5:24)

(The following is an excerpt; Bishop John Chapman’s Charge in its  entirety can be found at http://www.ottawa.anglican.ca/Charge_to_Synod_2009.html)
 

Regarding Child Poverty

In the Diocese of Ottawa, we are immensely proud of our
community ministries. The work that we do through them is an invaluable  expression of the gospel, and is the envy of many. I am grateful to those who  serve, and I am thankful for those we serve, each embodying the fullness of  Christ in their brokenness.

As I become increasingly aware of all the work that is done  locally, through the congregations in neighbourhood or ecumenical coalitions, I  am always filled with pride when I hear stories of outreach through homework clubs, food banks, seniors work, youth centers, or the many and varied ways,  and there are too many to mention, by which we serve God’s world. We have been  challenged to find new ways of serving God’s world and God’s people by our  strategic plan. We are asked to identify and develop new ministries, on both  the parochial and diocesan level. Many parishes are already doing this, and I  want to both congratulate and encourage them. Many more parishes have projects  in development and from what I have seen; our communities will be better and  stronger as a result.

Through the ongoing ministry of a dedicated group of our  retired clergy, it has come to my attention that child poverty in our community has reached critical proportions. One of our local agencies, which provide childcare programmes and meals, has 800 children currently on the waiting list. This is a matter that must be addressed by our Diocese. Nurture and care for our children is clearly demanded of us by Jesus. Our community ministries now address men and women living on the streets with food, accommodation, counseling and a variety of support activities. It is time for this Synod to take the matter of child poverty in hand. I will ask our new Community Ministries Development Committee to take this challenge in hand and make a recommendation to Synod 2010 as to how we as a Diocese can respond to this deep need. I believe that this matter deserves our very best attention.

On a related matter, Citizens for Public Justice and Canada Without Poverty has launched a campaign for a Poverty-Free Canada. One hundred and fifty-five organizations have endorsed the project including the Anglican Church of Canada. I would welcome a motion from this Synod authorizing the Diocese of Ottawa to endorse and participate in this campaign.

Our attention to both of these projects will further our ongoing attention to the United Nation’s Millennium Development goals; specifically, numbers one and four – Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, and Reduce child mortality.